Chile’s government has sent officials to investigate accidents at two mines in the South American country’s metropolitan and Tarapaca regions that killed three workers, it said on Sunday.
Newly appointed mining minister Aurora Williams is closely monitoring the inspections, her ministry said in a statement.
The country’s mining and geology service over the weekend announced the deaths – all on Saturday – of two workers at Anglo American’s Los Bronces copper mine some 40 miles (64 km) from the capital, Santiago, and one at Minera ACF, which produces iodine and nitrate in the northern Tarapaca region.
In a statement on Sunday, Anglo American said the workers were contractors with tech engineering firm NETaxion, adding they had informed the relevant authorities and launched “a thorough investigation to determine the causes of the accident.”
“The safety of the people who work at our sites is a priority,” it added.
Minera ACF could not immediately be reached for comment.
“The Mining Ministry expresses its heartfelt condolences to the workers’ families and co-workers,” the ministry said in the statement, calling on the mining companies to further reflect on the value of safety in their operations.
State-owned miner copper miner Codelco has also reported several fatal accidents since summer 2022. The latest was last June, when a technical contractor was killed by an electrical discharge while installing a generator.
(By Fabian Cambrero and Sarah Morland; Editing by Diane Craft and Gerry Doyle)